Pedlars stalwarts good role models for starlets at Shoemakers Lane
Paul Hunt’s decision to balance Swaffham Town’s squad with a mixture of youth and experience looks to be paying off as the Pedlars enter the business end of the campaign.
The Shoemakers Lane outfit are currently third in the Thurlow Nunn First Division North standings and are chasing further silverware in both the Norfolk Senior Cup and First Division Knockout Cup.
Hunt’s side travel to Debenham LC in the league tomorrow and the Pedlars’ chief has praised the role models within his squad.
“We have got four or five young lads who have come through the club’s youth set-up who are doing us proud and they are playing alongside some more experienced figures in the first team,” admitted Hunt.
“Across the club we have got some great role models for our younger lads.
“Players like Dean Miller, Matthew Gilchrist and Alex Vincent have all played in the league for a number of years now but they also play the game in the right spirit.
“I think we have got that balance between youth and experience just about right.
“The young lads are really benefiting from lining up alongside the more experienced players in the squad and that really helps with their development.
“There is a lot to play for up until the end of the season. It is going to test us as a group and we need to rise to that.
“Some of the guys like Dean and Vinnie have been here before, they know what to expect and how to rise to the challenge.
“They help pass that on to the players in the squad that haven’t got that experience - that’s absolutely invaluable.
“Across the whole club, the balance and the respect is there and that’s why there is such a buzz around the place.”
Hunt added: “We are entering an important stage of the season.
“There are going to be ups and downs along the way, but having experienced players in the side will help keep everyone calm and focused on the job in hand.”
The Swaffham boss is expecting a tough test in Suffolk this weekend but goes into the game confident of getting a positive result.
“We go into every game confident. Our form and the quality in the squad allows us to do that but we also go into every game expecting it to be tough.
“Whenever we have played Debenham in the past the games have been tough. We have had to dig-deep to get results and I’m not expecting this weekend to be any different.”
The Pedlars, who have two big cup clashes this month – starting with Downham on Tuesday – have been drawn against Dereham Town in the last four of the Norfolk Senior Cup.
The tie will be played at the Football Development Centre on Wednesday, February 27.